the / - accumulation of gases


Senior Member

I'm writing about an accident at a company:

(...) The blast occurred while the contractors were carrying out maintenance of a boiler. The company suspects that the / - accumulation of gases in the area might have caused the accident.

Is the definite article needed here? The accumulation was not mentioned before in the text.
  • srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    But I'd use "an." The company suspects that an accumulation of gases in the area ....

    If the idea behind the use of "the" is that the accumulation is known to have occurred, I'd say that: The company suspects that a known accumulation of gasses in the area ....
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